Remembering a hero: Major KK Rao's courageous sacrifice in 1971 battle

11:21 AM Aug 13, 2023 | Team Udayavani |

This is the story of a brave son of the soil, the late Major Kalyanpur Krishnaji Rao (aka Major KK Rao)  whose extraordinary courage and selfless dedication left an indelible mark on the pages of Indian history. Hailing from the picturesque town of Kallianpur in the then-South Kanara district, Major KK Rao’s journey from humble beginnings to the battlefields of honor is a tale that resonates with valor and sacrifice.


His unwavering commitment to the nation serves as an enduring inspiration, a shining example of the unbreakable bond between a warrior and the land he cherished.

Born in 1939 to Appaji Rao More and Sundaribai More, Major KK Rao’s early life was marked by the challenges that accompany modest means. Growing up in a Maratha family with three sisters and a brother, he navigated the hurdles of limited resources with an unwavering determination to make a difference. Despite the financial constraints, his heart beat for the service of his country, and he demonstrated this passion from a tender age.

As a young boy, Major KK Rao displayed an adventurous streak and an innate love for his homeland with his affiliation with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

He studied up to SSLC in Kallianpur but had to stop higher education due to financial constraints.  Undeterred, he started working in various private companies.


In 1956, fate beckoned him toward his true calling –  joining the Indian Army. Determined to prove his mettle, KK Rao embarked on a journey of rigorous training at different Army institutions. His dedication and perseverance paid off as he ascended through the ranks, attaining the rank of Major.

The year 1971 witnessed a defining chapter in Major KK Rao’s legacy. As tensions escalated and the nation stood on the brink of war, Major KK Rao led from the frontlines.

Major KK Rao led D Company, 8 Guards regiment, in the pivotal battle for Morapara in Hilli on November 22, 1971. After a first assault under Maj HD Manjrekar and R. Nath, Maj KK Rao directed the second attack at 1:30 AM. Dodging booby traps, mines, and machine gun fire, he valiantly destroyed a bunker. Despite injuries, he pressed on, urging his men forward.

Tragically, Maj KK Rao fell in battle on the night of November 22, 1971, embodying courage and dedication.

His resolute leadership and sacrifice are etched in the annals of history as he was laid to rest with military honors on the banks of the Jamuna River in Hilli.

Reminiscing about Maj KK Rao, his brother K. Ganesh Rao More said, “In 1971, he worked as an instructor in Meghalaya. In May 1971, he visited home for his sister’s marriage. That was the last we saw him. He had been decorated with 9 medals by the Indian Army, including the Sena Medal, Raksha Medal, and General Service Medal.”

As we pay tribute to Major KK Rao and his incredible journey, let us be reminded of the profound impact that a single individual can have in shaping the destiny of a nation. His legacy serves as a beacon of hope, instilling in us the values of courage, selflessness, and an unbreakable bond with our motherland.


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